EYEWITNESS: Lost at sea…


…with Budget priorities

If there’s anything that’s revealed why our economy’s been adrift and slipping inexorably into the abyss of stagnation, one just has to explore the revelations coming out of the recent meeting with Budget Agency heads.

From his comments, Jordan has a fundamental disjunct about what a central government budget is all about in a mixed economy – one where there are both public and private productive enterprises. The Chronic’s headline summarised his confusion with his charge: “Deliver the goods…Min Jordan says gov’t will make resources available”!! It is now confirmed that Jordan and his PNC Government needs help for development of the country.

Rather, THEY’re driving the process of spending the Government revenues as THEY see fit!! Talk about the tail wagging the dog!! No wonder Guyana’s slip-slidin’ away!!

So your Eyewitness will offer him a quick tutorial of what Jagdeo and other economists were doing in the front room while he was filling in numbers in the back room: They were conceptualising the Government’s economic, social and political policies which would guide the budget process!! First, the Finance Minister should’ve briefed Cabinet about the state of the economy; and with ours in reverse gear, should’ve mapped out a plan for the “reallocation of resources” to promote growth!!

But what did Jordan tell his budget agencies about “reallocation of resources”? He boasted, “We have consistently improved wages and salaries; undertaken sweeping tax reforms to improve tax administration, and bring greater equity to the tax system”!!!

Here’s a man boasting about improving tax collection so that he can increase public sector wages!! What’s this?? Budget-making on the Robin Hood Principle?? But even under that principle, there had to be enough RICHES to share! And if “social welfare” is the concern, why close those sugar estates so precipitately? It’s all about politics, isn’t it?

…and no ferries

The bidding process for the Indian Government-funded ferries to the North West District was a revealing exercise: there were no Guyanese bidders. Now, you readers might be wondering whether your Eyewitness isn’t hanging Guyana’s hat where its hand can’t reach!! But that simply shows how quickly we’ve forgotten the destruction wrought by the first PNC Government under their founder-leader Forbes Burnham.

When he was installed into power by the CIA, the PPP Government he replaced had already built a ferry locally at Sprostons – the MV Torani. After he nationalised Sprostons and changed its name into GNEC, Burnham politicised management so viciously that CEO Carmichael had to flee to Barbados.

GNEC never recovered from the destructive policies of Burnham, and like what happened at Linden, a cadre of African-Guyanese craftsmen and engineers, painfully created in the century and a half after the abolition of slavery, was destroyed on his whim.

Granger, the present leader of the PNC, has vowed to ‘complete Burnham’s legacy”.

The question is: what industry built up under the PPP will be destroy?

…with Police deployment

The putative Minister of Public Security, Khemraj Ramjattan, (well, he at least collects the salary!!) announced that Police “F” Division of the hinterland will be ‘rejigged”.

Did he check with Felix, so it won’t be re-rejigged??


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